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Youth Development and College and Career Readiness Unit-Youth Testimonials: Tandi C.

Youth Testimonials shared by Tandi C.

My name is Tandi C. I am currently a junior at Landmark High School. I was introduced to the NYU LPP during Covid-19 in 2021. I participated in the Culinary Arts Program, the summer right before starting my freshman year at Landmark High School. This program was a great way to begin my high school journey. The NYU LPP gave me something to look forward to that summer and made me hopeful in having a good experience in high school.

Image captures a headshot of a high school student as she wears glasses and sits on the couch, as she smiles at the camera.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Culinary Arts Program!  Cooking with Chef Thomas made cooking classes fun and yet educational. To date, his cooking classes have been the most enjoyable classes I have taken. I have always loved cooking and was interested in learning it professionally. This program allowed me to do that, and I was able to learn new techniques which encouraged me to try cooking new recipes at home. Chef Thomas also taught us how to be innovative in cooking simple recipes while teaching us the basic skills. We learned about kitchen safety, keeping the cooking area clean, making delicious healthy meals that are not expensive, and the importance of presentation. He also mentored us. While we cooked, the Chef engaged us in conversations about college, our goals, and leadership. He always spoke to us about how we feel when we are cooking. If we are upset or not focused, it will affect how the meal turns out.  The NYU LPP Culinary Arts Program reinforced my interest in cooking and reinstated my decision to pursue a Culinary Arts degree in college.       

To be honest, I have never enjoyed being at school. However, the afterschool program and activities such as the Culinary Arts Program curated by the NYU LPP keeps me engaged in school. These programs allow me to explore my interests apart from academics and help me focus on the next steps in my career path. Taking a class with a professional chef adds value to my resume and college applications. It also has opened more opportunities in participating in other Culinary Arts Programs. 

This summer, I was fortunate to be able to travel to Washington, D.C. with the NYU LPP and other students. Visiting the different monuments and museums in Washington, D.C. has helped me learn more in person about the rich history of various groups in the United States, rather than just in school textbooks. I was also able to make new friends who attend other schools and socialize with them.  I plan on keeping in touch with them!  It was great meeting peers of the same age as me who are motivated and focused on achieving their goals. Speaking with them was not only interesting but also inspired me to stay on top of my goals. The NYU LPP has been helping me to open my eyes to new possibilities. I have learned to take advantage of opportunities because they can lead to new interests, activities, and connections.


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